How to Bake Compliance into Collections Litigation

Walker White

December 10, 2020

The new rulings from CFPB will curtail some of the most widely used—and often abused—practices in collections.  Keeping up with federal, state, local and, venue-specific laws, rules, and procedures is a huge cost and risk to manage, and implementing the Final Rule will be no different.  Creditors and law firms need full-time staff to monitor the laws, rules, and procedures across the nation.  Since the formation of the CFPB, the amount of quality control checks and audit requirements has grown exponentially.  In the past, there were only two solutions; hire more people or lower your volume.  In the face of the expected growth of debt over the next few years, neither course of action is ideal.

Want to learn how to best prepare for the new FDCPA rule?  Watch our on-demand webinar with Diana Banks, Vice President with American Bankers Association and, Walker White, CEO of Oliver Technology.

The Opportunity:  Automation with Built-in Compliance

The technology exists today to automate much of the compliance process to ensure adherence across the collections litigation channel.  Here are three key categories of automation that allow creditors to maintain rigorous compliance.

    1. Codify Compliance

Think of how TurboTax™ transformed the way the average person does their taxes and remains compliant with the IRS; that’s codifying.  The first step is to codify all the federal, state, local, and venue specific laws and regulations.  Next, place this code onto a platform that is used by all parties across the collections litigation channel to ensure that everyone is maintaining compliance throughout the process.

Creditors and law firms have extensible procedures and business rules that need to be incorporated into the platform.  These are specific procedures that help those companies meet reputational goals or internal controls.

A key value to codifying compliance is providing granular visibility and agility. When an account cannot automatically flow through the process, they need to be escalated and handled on an exception basis.  Now 90% of inventory can be automated and only 10% need exception-based management.

  1. Simplify Audit

The CFPB measures compliance through audits, yet this can be a very manual, time-consuming, and subjective process.  Additionally, many creditors have strict internal controls that need to be managed and measured.  By building compliance into the collections litigation platform, all collections activity can be audited easily.  The platform documents every step of the process including measuring meaningful attorney involvement.

Clear reporting of handoffs, reviews, approvals, and SLAs are critical to the accuracy of the audit.  Finally, giving creditors end-to-end visibility and control over the process is critical to ensure that all the compliance and internal controls are met.

  1. Customization

Litigation is a combination of science and art, meaning that there can be multiple ways to manage an account and remain compliant.  Many debt collectors have developed unique standard operating procedures (SOPs) that need to be incorporated into the compliance framework.  Creditors have multiple law firms in each state where they litigate and each of their firms can navigate the compliance framework with their unique SOP.  By integrating these SOPs into the platform, all the parties can continue to process inventory according to their SOP and still maintain the overall consistency of approach that creditors and regulators require.

Finally, technology today enables us to quickly adapt to changing market and regulatory conditions.  The COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example.  From a legal and reputational perspective, creditors needed to suddenly stop the litigation process, reassess the level of the hardship of their accounts, modify their process of collection with courtesy communication or forbearance offerings, and then quickly restart the process when the courts reopened.   If they had a collections litigation platform in place with built-in compliance, SLAs, and SOPs, they would have been able to automatically send courtesy communication, and continue to work on accounts and place them in processing queues.  Upon reprioritization based on their ability to pay and preparing them for litigation, accounts would be ready to be put into the system as soon as the courts reopened.

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CFPB Releases FDCPA Final Rule with 10 Key Changes

Walker White

December 8, 2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its final rule for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act on October 30, 2020.  The release of the rule promises to bring substantial changes in consumer debt collections practices.  The rule becomes effective one year after its date of publication, or November 2021.

In the meantime, here is a summary of 10 key changes that you can expect from this rule.  Please visit the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for more detail.

1.  Communication for debt collection

For purposes of this section, the term “consumer” includes consumer’s spouse, parent (if the consumer is a minor), guardian, executor, or administrator.  There are specific updates on who, what, where and when you can communicate with consumers and third parties.  In addition, there is a section on the circumstances on when a debt collector needs to cease communication.

2.  Harassment or abuse

A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, six examples of conduct that are a violation of this section are provided.

15 USC 1692e

3.  False or misleading representations

A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, there are 16 points on conduct that are violations.

15 USC 1692f

4.  Unfair practices

A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, this section describes eight examples of conduct that is a violation.

15 USC 1692g

5.  Validation of debts

This is a detailed description of new processes for

  • Notice of debt, contents
  • Disputed debts
  • Admission of liability
  • Legal pleadings
  • Notice provisions

15 USC 1692h

6.  Multiple debts

If any consumer owes multiple debts and makes any single payment to any debt collector with respect to such debts, such debt collector may not apply such payment to any debt which is disputed by the consumer and, where applicable, shall apply such payment in accordance with the consumer’s directions.

15 USC 1692i

7.  Legal actions by debt collectors

Any debt collector who brings any legal action on a debt against any consumer shall abide by the specific venue rules outlined in this section.

15 USC 1692j

8.  Furnishing certain deceptive forms 

It is unlawful to design, compile, and furnish any form knowing that such form would be used to create the false belief in a consumer that a person other than the creditor of such consumer is participating in the collection of or in an attempt to collect a debt such consumer allegedly owes such creditor, when in fact such person is not so participating.

Any person who violates this section shall be liable to the same extent and in the same manner as a debt collector is liable under section 1692k of this title for failure to comply with a provision of this subchapter.

15 USC 1692k

9.  Civil liability 

This section outlines the civil liability of any debt collector who fails to comply with any provision of this subchapter.  It provides details on…

  • Amount of damages
  • Factors considered by court
  • Intent
  • Jurisdiction
  • Advisory opinions of Bureau

15 USC 1692l

10.  Administrative enforcement

This section gives detail on compliance and enforcement as it pertains to:

  • The Federal Trade Commission
  • Applicable provisions of law
  • Agency powers
  • Rules and regulations

15 USC 1692m

This is a high level summary of the new rule, please visit the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for more detail.


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Oliver Expands Software Engineering Department

Walker White

December 7, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 7, 2020—Oliver Technology Corporation, the provider of collections litigation software, is pleased to announce the expansion of our Software Engineering Team with four new team members: Mariano Estoque, Chris Habgood, Gregory Spies, and Timothy Black.

Oliver Growth Mode Continues

The Oliver Collections Litigation Exchange (CLX) platform is in a significant growth period with an expanding roadmap which includes many innovative capabilities that will increase customer value and support market expansion.

“Top-tier technical team members are always in demand, but even more so for Oliver with the new capabilities that we will be building to add even greater value to our customers.” said Jay Scroggins, COO of Oliver. “We are very fortunate to be able to find such great talent that fits perfectly into our culture, understands our vision, and brings tremendous energy to our mission.”

Mariano Estoque is a software engineer with over eight years of full-stack web development experience.  In four of those years, Mariano was responsible for building, testing and deploying to production.  Beyond his broad experience in legal technology, Mariano has a degree in Biotechnology and spent four years as a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry doing cancer diagnostics research.  For fun, he plays tennis competitively, has visited over 15 countries and enjoys being active in a variety of sports and hiking.

Chris Habgood is a Senior full-stack Ruby on Rails developer with over 13 years of experience in back end development, API functionality and refactoring code for a more maintainable code base.  Chris is a proud Texan married to a Peruvian woman, who is the best cook on the planet.  Chris loves playing pool and eating BBQ.

Gregory Spies has more than an interesting name.  He has led front-end development initiatives and customer facing applications.  Greg is also an avid drummer.

Timothy Black brings to Oliver a background in both software engineering and client requirements development which made him the perfect fit to research and develop implementation plans for future application features.  An ideal day off for Tim includes a round of golf, good food, and drinks with friends.

About Oliver Technology Corporation

Oliver transforms legal servicing by consolidating data collection, orchestrating team collaboration and accelerating litigation strategies on a cloud-based platform with unprecedented automation and compliance.  Our collections litigation platform gives creditors current visibility of their litigation process with built-in federal, state, local and venue-specific laws, rules and procedures.

Designed by experienced collections litigators and in conjunction with creditors, Oliver Collections Litigation Exchange (CLX) provides a complete solution from pre-placement to settlement.  Built around the core workstreams of consolidate, orchestrate, and litigate, Oliver CLX drives increased revenue, rigorous compliance, and simplified litigation, ensuring collections are fast, cost effective and fair.

For more information about Oliver Technology Corporation, visit


Oliver Technology Corporation
Walker White, Chief Executive Officer

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